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Retired, work part-time or shifts, enjoy being out in the countryside? Then cycle the lanes and byways of Cheshire and surrounding areas with Chester Easy Riders: you won't get left behind.
Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

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Friday, 14 February 2020

13th February 2020: Warrington (brisk)

Ivan had proposed a ride to Warrington and so it was that John W and I met Ivan at the top of the Greenway in the pouring rain for our ride out to Delamere Station Cafe. Around Manley Mere, John was having trouble changing the front and rear derailleurs on is Di system. So he reluctantly decided that riding all day on a fixie was not a good idea, and returned homewards.

The warmth of Delamere Station was welcome and it was very busy with lots of Easy Riders and walkers. Steve T was yet again dragooned into the Brisk Ride Formation Cycling Team as Ivan lad us out  setting off bound for Runcorn via Kingsley. The other side of Frodsham, Steve  offers to weave us through Runcorn in between the railways lines, main roads and canals, to get to the old Mersey Bridge which he did expertly. Up until this point, the roads were pretty familiar to me but this was all about to change. Steve tells me it is a bit rough around here. I see signs for Prescot where the owner of the Chester "Sticky Walnut" restaurant successfully opened a gourmet establishment!

On the Mersey Old Bridge
Ivan guides us through suburban Widnes to Upton Rocks then Cronton thence Rainhill Stoops - familiar to you all I suppose. Ivan tells us that it was around here in 1829 that Stephenson's Rocket won the competition for the first locomotive to pull trains on the nearly complete Liverpool to Manchester Railway line; and Yes it was more prompt on arrival times than Arriva North trains! Hereabouts as well was the first railway death - the "man with the red flag" was run over by the train and died.

We motor on passing Burtonwood Brewery and then into the metropolis that is Warrington, now with 209,000 population and a lot of warehouses! After 30 miles, we tie up our steeds outside the Spoons' "The Friar Penketh" where a couple of workers are jet-washing the outside smoking area - the jobsworth won't let us park our bikes away from the pavement here, neither offer to jet-wash our mud covered bikes.

We get a table at the window to stand watch over our bikes as our food comes, as always, promptly from the kitchens. The route back doesn't feature much in the way of railways, but we set off along the Mersey River crossing it over the swinging Howley Footbridge where an electric blue-haired lass kindly takes our photo. Cutting through Victoria Park  and more cycle-paths, we head for Hillcliffe where the clue is in the name. It's a long ride up at nearly 10% to Fox Covert Cemetery and thence down the unmade road passing upmarket houses to Appleton reservoir.

Howley Footbridge over the Mersey River
Out via Hatton, we arrive in Daresbury village passing the rectory where Charles Dodgson was born in 1832. Better known as Lewis Carroll, Charles was also a well-respected mathematician and inventor of a Scrabble-type board game when he was not writing the Alice In Wonderland books.

Crossing the M56 we end up at Preston-on-the-Hill where we elect to join the old Chester to Warrington road known as the A56. Steve peels off near Sutton Weaver as Ivan and I ride straight back to Chester. The planned route would have taken you back to Delamere with 51 miles via Acton Bridge however.

Safely back in Chester, it now getting colder as Ivan I finish up for around 70 miles round trip. A great day out with a good part along roads and areas that I had not been down, or up, before.

See route map and/or gpx file download

CA

Photos ID

2 comments:

  1. Great Route, Ivan - half of which I have never cycled down - what an achievement!

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  2. Thanks Ivan. Quite a different kind of ride from our usual stuff. It's surprising that there are several rural spots sitting between the urban areas around Widnes and Warrington. Also some quite steep hills!

    ReplyDelete